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Letter: Support Question 2

I am writing in support of the Death with Dignity Act, which appears as Question 2, “Prescribing Medication to End Life.” Death with Dignity laws, which have been approved by voters in two states — Oregon in 1997 and Washington in 2008 — recognize the right of individuals to make voluntary and informed decisions about their end-of-life care.

The issue for me is one of self determination and control. These laws, which are loaded with safeguards, allow terminally ill adults with less than six months to live the right to request and to self-administer a prescription for life-ending medication. In addition, they encourage honest and compassionate conversation between terminally ill patients, their families and physicians — conversations that are often currently avoided until it is too late, or do not occur at all.

I believe that competent adults who face an end-stage illness deserve the dignity to learn about all their options and the chance to make the right choice for themselves.

Next week, we have the opportunity to put control of this most important decision in the hands of the dying patient. Please vote “YES” on Question 2.

Kathleen McKnight

Williamstown

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